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What is an Industrial Coating?

By Robert Ferguson
Updated May 17, 2024
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An industrial coating is a layer or layers of protective coating applied to steel, concrete, and other materials. The coatings are manufactured with common polymers such as epoxy, polyurethane and moisture cure urethane. Industrial coating formulas and application methods vary widely depending on the structure and the protection needed.

Industrial coatings can help to increase the lifetime of materials, which reduces replacement costs. These coatings are essential in protecting the metal used in bridges subjected to salt spray, oxidation and moisture. Applying an industrial coating to these types of structures greatly increases their life expectancy.

The most common methods of application for industrial coatings are to use brushes, paint rollers or airless sprayers. Which application method is used depends on the type of coating used and the structure to be coated. More complicated methods include electro coating, autophoretic application or spinning.

Electro coating is a process that involves applying a voltage difference across electrodes submersed in an organic solution that creates a protective film on the metal. The spinning process spins the subject matter at a high speed to spread the industrial coating evenly. These processes are often used to coat automotive, aviation and other specialty parts. Autophoretic application uses a reaction caused by introducing organic resins to an acid etched surface, providing a protective layer to the applicable material.

Epoxy paint and polyurethane are common types of protective industrial coatings used in residential settings to seal and protect garage floors. Some downsides to epoxy are that it is prone to scratches and does not hold up well in direct sunlight due to its low resistance to ultra-violet light. Adding a coat of polyurethane over the epoxy increases its strength and resistance to sunlight.

Another type of industrial coating used in the construction industry by roofing contractors is bitumen paint. This industrial coating protects ferrous and non-ferrous materials such as felt, asphalt and wood against water. The common method of application when using bitumen industrial coatings on roofs is by rolling or mopping the material to the surface. Bitumen also protects iron or steelwork in certain applications but has a shorter life span than other more advanced coatings.

Fluoropolymer is an industrial coating formulated from advanced resins and lubricants. This type of industrial coating provides excellent protection from corrosion as well as a strong chemical resistance. Fluoropolymer is widely used to extend the life expectancy of fasteners subjected to harsh conditions.

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Discussion Comments
By Viranty — On Feb 27, 2014

Industrial coating is one of the most important things you can do for your materials. Not only does this cause it to last longer, as the article states, but in the long run, it may never even have to be replaced. Though some things do get worn out eventually, we have to remember that other things are also made to last a lifetime. As an example, look at some forms of steel, paper and glass. Why do you think they're recycled? They can be reused, and if they weren't, it would never decompose.

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